DC Database

Matango is a former agent of the Parliament of Trees who defected to the Grey.

At the beginning of creation, the master of the forest lords, Sila, seeded the planets with potential for life. In the Solar System, the seeds took root on three different planets: Earth, Jupiter, and another which has since been destroyed. On that last planet lived a collective fungal consciousness thriving on The Grey. After the inception of the Parliament of Trees, there was created a system by which The Green was protected by a chosen elemental. The thirteenth in the line of these protectors was Matango - a member of the Parliament himself. When a meteor from the destroyed grey planet came to earth, Matango approached the Parliament with hopes of protecting the Earth.

Instead, the Parliament wanted to create a new elemental based on this new fungal life form so they could learn from it. Matango volunteered to be that elemental, and though the Parliament felt that his intentions were suspicious, they allowed it, so long as he left a receptacle for the knowledge that his first form had gained him. However, Matango's intent was to grow more powerful than the Parliament, and form his own. Unsuspected, The Grey's collective had its own will, which is merged with Matango's in order to fulfill its need to spread, consume, and break down life. The next time the Parliament saw him, it was as an emissary of The Grey. Though his change was contentious, The Grey and The Green lived in peace for years.

However, with the dawn of man, the Parliament felt that humanity's destructive potential needed to be controlled and restrained. Matango felt that the potential should be unleashed. He tempted humans with fruit from the branches of Tuuru, the tree of knowledge. As a result of the change in mankind, the Parliament created an ice age to separate the new race of men from the old. A war began between The Green and The Grey. Having once resided in the Garden of Eden, the Parliament was forced to abandon its former home in the wake of Matango's attacks. The Grey weakened the Parliament to the point that it froze over, and they had to relocate to Brazil, on the Tefé River.

Following the war, a compromise was made which allowed the new race of man to conquer the old, and for those lost to The Grey to remain so. The new race of man's gradual destruction of the environment had so far satisfied Matango, but with the Swamp Thing's actions, escaping from his prison in the Claw of Aelkhünd and planting the seed of the old race of man in his own human elemental daughter, Tefé, Matango awoke. Despite Yggdrasil's urging that the Swamp Thing and his family remain with the Parliament in hiding, Eyam - once a prisoner to The Grey - believed that Matango would destroy all of The Green if he was not confronted. Swamp Thing decided to gather a force of once-lost elementals to protect his family and fight Matango and The Grey.[1]

Before Swamp Thing learned of Matango's long history of involvement with the Parliament of Trees, he encountered one of Matango's avatars, who was once a man. This man sought great power. He made a deal with the demon Nergal, murdering human sacrifices in exchange for more power. However, his eyes, tongue, and hand were all taken from him, and eventually Nergal claimed his soul, and placed it in his garden of Mashkan Shapir in Hell. He spent an eternity there until Swamp Thing destroyed the garden, and freed him to walk the earth again as an elemental of The Grey, a realm built entirely on fungus and mould.

Eventually, the Swamp Thing learned from the Parliament of Trees that eons ago, the Parliament had resided within the Garden of Eden, but they had come under attack by Matango and The Grey. Many members of the Parliament were lost in The Green, and transformed into members of The Grey. Matango's influence weakened the Parliament to such an extent that the Garden of Eden froze over, and the founders were crippled and forced to move to Brazil to the Tefé River.

When the Swamp Thing and Abby Holland gave birth to their daughter Tefé, the next earth elemental, Matango became obsessed with corrupting her with The Grey's influence, knowing of Nergal's taint within her and her enhanced power over both The Green and The Red. The avatar was subsequently destroyed by Brenda, a Native American woman, and a friend of John Constantine, with power over the dead.